These large two-decker ships-of-the-line can hold more and heavier guns than most two-deck vessels. They carry 32- and 24-pounders. These powerful cannon do not have the fast reloading times of lighter pieces, but make up for that with weight of shot. It is most advantageous for a captain to hold his fire until close to the enemy, in order to do the maximum possible damage.
Historically, the “new pattern” 80-gun ship with two decks was considered a success. The previous three-deck 80s had been somewhat unwieldy in action. In 1758, the French 80-gun Foudroyant fought an action against HMS Monmouth (66 guns, third rate) off Cartagena in Spain. The fight lasted for over four hours, and only came to an end when HMS Swiftsure (70 guns, third rate) joined the battle. Foudroyant was captured. Once brought back to England, Foudroyant was refitted and repaired. In a further upset for the French, in 1782 HMS Foudroyant captured another French ship, the Pégase, earning her then-captain, John Jervis, a knighthood for the feat.